Jurors Believe Interrogation Tactics are Not Likely to Elicit False Confessions: Will Expert Witness Testimony Inform Them Otherwise?

Psychology, Crime, & Law, Forthcoming

42 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2009

See all articles by Iris Blandon-Gitlin

Iris Blandon-Gitlin

California State University, Fullerton

Date Written: July 11, 2009

Abstract

Situational factors - in the form of interrogation tactics - have been reported to unduly influence innocent suspects to confess. This study assessed jurors’ perceptions of these factors and tested whether expert witness testimony on confessions informs jury decision-making. In Study 1, jurors rated interrogation tactics on their level of coerciveness and likelihood that each would elicit true and false confessions. Most jurors perceived interrogation tactics to be coercive and likely to elicit confessions from guilty, but not from innocent suspects. This result motivated Study 2 in which an actual case involving a disputed confession was used to assess the influence of expert testimony on jurors’ perceptions and evaluations of interrogations and confession evidence. The results revealed an important influence of expert testimony on mock-jurors decisions.

Keywords: interrogations, confessions, jury, decision-making, expert testimony

Suggested Citation

Blandon-Gitlin, Iris, Jurors Believe Interrogation Tactics are Not Likely to Elicit False Confessions: Will Expert Witness Testimony Inform Them Otherwise? (July 11, 2009). Psychology, Crime, & Law, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1432869

Iris Blandon-Gitlin (Contact Author)

California State University, Fullerton ( email )

800 N State College St
Fullerton, CA 92831
United States

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